October 6, 2022

Things to do in Vermillion

Things to do in Vermillion

There is an incredible dreamy landscape on the Arizona Utah border that is not easily accessible and has restrictions on visitors’ numbers. The Vermilion Cliffs became National Monument in 2000. The desolate landscape consists of the Vermilion Cliffs, steep eroded parts of sandstone, limestone, and shale. The process of erosion lasts for millions of years, revealing hundreds of colorful layers. The remote wilderness has steep canyons, mesas, buttes, and one of the most intriguing parts of the National Monument is the Wave in the Coyote Buttes.

If you come from abroad, you’ll need travel authorization. What is an esta visa? This is a travel authorization for visitors from countries in Visa Waiver Program. You can apply online, answer multiple questions, and wait for the American administration to process your application. With ESTA Visa, you can visit the U.S. for up to 90 days.

Diverse Vermilion Cliff National Monument Landscape

This part of Arizona was a real hidden gem for quite a while. The monument is close to other natural phenomenon like Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, Petrified National Forest, and Lake Powell.

Because of the iron-rich pigments in the rocks, the landscape has vivid colors, and nature got creative with the erosion. There are a few primary regions of the national monument. The fragile ecosystem of Coyote Buttes North has dinosaur tracks in sediments dating back to the Jurassic period. Besides dinosaur footprints, you can explore the Wave, arguably the most popular part of the park. Coyote Buttes’ other attractions are the Alcove, Melody arch, and the Grotto, all incredible rock and desert landscapes.


You will need a permit for Coyote Buttes South. The most exciting places are White Pocket, an iconic group of sandstone domes, incredible Paria Canyon with muddy water and weird rock colors.

You can walk through Buckskin Gulch across the border in Utah, the deepest slot canyon that stretches for 15 miles.

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Weather

South Utah and northern Arizona have mostly dry weather, with only summer monsoons bringing some precipitation that can be highly volatile and unpredictable, but in overall volume not significant. Spring and autumn have a clear sky, moderate temperatures and are considered the best time to visit the region. Summers are sweltering, and high temperatures with no shade can lead to overheating and dehydration. The rocky terrain also radiates the heat from down under.

July and August can have unpredictable thunderstorms that can be dangerous because of the lightning and sudden flooding in canyons.

Best Time to Visit the Wave Arizona

The geologic chest of treasures Vermilion cliffs National Monument represents has some of the world’s weirdest landscapes. The unique part of the remote 280,000-acre protected area is the Wave. The most photographed and most challenging part of the National Monument to visit the swirling sandstone formations, spectacular colors, and shapes. There is a complicated system of issuing permits that allow only 20 people daily in this vast area.

The best time to visit the Wave is in spring and autumn because of the favorable weather, but if you’re looking for a permit, the best chances to get them are in winter.

Vermillion Cliffs Camping

The Vermilion Cliffs National Monument doesn’t have many nearby towns and accommodations. Some of the best options are various campgrounds around the National Monument. On the Arizona side of the border, you can stay In Lees Ferry Campground, which offers basic amenities like toilets and water.

On the other side of the park is Condor Viewing in Vermilion Cliffs campground, where you can camp. The place has fresh water, toilets, and giant binoculars to observe endangered Californian Condor that lives in the national monument.

You can find Stateline Campground, a rudimentary free camping ground with a pavilion, picnic table, and clean bathrooms across the border near Kanab.

How to Get to Vermillion Cliff

There are two main paths to get to the monument. If you’re coming from Arizona, you can come from Flagstaff. Take the U.S. Highway 89 to 89A at the Bitter Springs turnoff to get to the Vermilion Cliffs. If you’re coming from the Utah side, the closest town is Kanab. Take the U.S. 89 to the east or 89A to the south and go past Fredonia and Jacob Lake.

You should plan your trip if you’re planning to see Vermilion Cliffs. Don’ make any reservation until you make an esta status check. When you get the ESTA approval, you will have two years to travel to America, so there is enough time to make reservations.

Bottom Line

Vermilion Cliffs are a remote and desolate region with incredible rock formations, a colorful landscape made by millions of years of erosion. There are several distinct areas inside of the national monument, and the Wave is most popular. Unfortunately, only 20 visitors are allowed daily, so it is tough to get into this incredible environment.